We had the privilege of hearing from guest preacher Pastor Larry Jones this week as he taught about being justified by faith. We can easily think we have to earn our way to God by our own merit- through good behavior or works. However, we must recognize we can do nothing on our own to reach God and depend fully on Him for our righteousness. Living in the blessing of God’s righteousness allows us to be a blessing to others.

Romans 4:13–24 (ESV)
13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord,

Justified

Romans 4:15 (ESV)
15For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

The law is a revealer, but we need a redeemer. The law only tells us what we have done wrong; only God can forgive us and help us.

By Faith

Romans 4:18 (ESV)
In hope he believed against hope…

Even against all odds, Abraham believed God’s promise. He was older in age and waited 25 years between receiving the promise and seeing its fulfillment, yet he trusted the Lord’s word.
We too can hold fast to God’s promises and His character, even in difficulty or waiting seasons.

Once we have been washed by the blood of Jesus, God wants to do three things:

1. God wants to do something through us.

Romans 4:17 (ESV)
17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
God wants to make you a blessing to others. Often, we spend too much time trying to receive a blessing from the Lord, but God wants to bless someone else through you.
There are people who may never step foot in a church, but God wants to use you to show them the grace, forgiveness, and love of God.

2. God wants to do something for us.

Romans 4:24 (ESV)
24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord,
God gives you all you need to become a model of blessing to the world. Being fully aware of what God did and who God was, Abraham was able to withstand difficulty joyful and bless others. We too can model what it is to live full of joy and peace no matter the circumstance for other to see.

3. God wants to do something to us.

Romans 4:23-24 (ESV)
23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone,
24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord,

The Lord allows us to go through hardship to prepare us to be a blessing to others. By God’s grace and strength, we can walk through difficulty so He can use us and make Himself known.

You don’t have to be the best in a situation, you have to the saved in a situation. This is a powerful witness.

We’ve been justified by faith in God- not our morals or good behavior. This is a blessing, so it’s time to share that blessing with others!


Discussion Questions:

  1. How does the concept of righteousness through faith challenge religious practiced that focus on works?
  2. How does the lesson of righteousness through faith shape your personal relationship with God?
  3. Pastor Larry Jones mentioned we may be the closest encounter someone ever has with God or the church; how does this make you rethink your interactions with others?
  4. There were several connections made between being justified by faith and having the grace to withstand difficulty in life, knowing God can use it to bless others; what are your thoughts on this correlation?

**Some of the discussion questions derived from Bible Hub (https://biblehub.com/questions/romans/4.htm)**

Application Questions:

  1. Pastor Larry Jones referenced Psalm 23 and Psalm 91 at the end the sermon. Take time this week to re-read and reflect on these passages. God has not only justified you, but also walks with you and protects you.
  2. Spend time asking God who you can be a blessing to this week, sharing the good news of being justified by faith in Jesus.


Join us for an in-person service at City Central Church in Tacoma, WA
Sundays at 9am + 11am